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May 19, 1942 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 1942-05-19

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ThmSDAY, MAY 19, 1842


Europe - Bylines




Axis At


War With U.S.
Shocks Nazis,
Declaration Of Hostilities
Stuns German Leaders,
Marks Policy Reversal
Had To 'Sell' War
(Associated Press Correspondent)
Hitler could have made no greater
mistake or created no greater in-
ternal stir than by his declaration of
war on the United States the (norn-
ing of Dec. 11, 1941.
The Fuehrer completely flabber-
gasted the German people.
Apparently he also so effectively
stunned even his own intimate fol-
lowers that Propoganda Minister Paul
Joseph Goebbels, hitherto a master
mind at propaganda, for once failed
correctly to estimate German psy-
For weeks and months the Nazi
slogan in response to unfriendly acts
by the United States had been: "We
won't let ourselves be provoked."
Even after Japan attacked the
United States German friends and
acquaintances in every walk of life
insisted that Hitler would merely of-
fer a declaration of solidarity with
Japan but wouldn't go beyond that.
Hitler Sells War
Hitler had been able to "sell" his
war to the German people by claim-
That the Poles seized the Gleiwitz
radio station before German troops
That the British and French de-
clared a state of war existed with
That the British already were on
their way to Norway when, for "pro-
tection of Denmark and Norway, he
sent his forces into those countries;
That Holland, Belgium, Greece and
Yugoslavia plotted against Germany
and already were on the move when
he forestalled, them;
That the Russians already were
mobilized against the Reich when at
the 11th hour he parried with a
The rank and file of German peo-
ple-even those millions who do not
approve his policies-thought Der
Fuehrer too "smart" ever to declare
Says FDR In Dotage
President Roosevelt was represent-
ed especially as, a man already in
his dotage. Give him a little more
rope--so the Germans were led to
believe-and he would hang himself.
Above all, don't play into his hands,
was the watch cry. He wants war, it
was said-in fact "Roosevelt is run-
ning after war"-so don't do him the
favor of giving him a war.
And then on Dec. 11 the astound-
fng, the amazing, the unbelievable
thing happened-Hitler declared war.
This was like an ice-cold shower to
the German people. Their leader was
Although he had promised the
"completion of the greatest victory in
history during 1941," which every
Teuton interpreted to mean a vic-
torious p&ace after but two years of
war, he now told the people to get
ready for a prolonged conflict.
Incidentally this conflict to date,
according to best estimates available,
has meant 2,500,000 casualties for
Germany, of which three quarters of
a million are dead.
Hitler Psychological Mistake
Correspondents who consider
themselves acquainted with German
psychology also believe it was a grave
error to present the German people
withe the fable about the heart dis-
ease of Field Marshal Gen. Walther
von Brauchitsch as a Christmas gift.

Large sections of the German peo-
ple look to soldiers of the old school
of which von Brauchitsch, a disciple
of the late Col.-Gen. Werner von
Fritsch, was an outstanding repre-
sentative as their last hope to stave
off the worst aspects of Nazi domina-
tion over an enslaved people.
Von Brauchitsch's "resignation"
and Hitler's assumption of the su-
preme army command acted like a
bombshell. The removal of the mar-
shal further put the German people
in the doldrums.
Besides, the older generation re-
inembered but too well how the
United States in 1917 gave the deci-
sive turn to the last World War.
Would history repeat itself? That
was the question on millions of lips.
At a time when people in Germany
were freezing for want of coal and
when no more "real" wool was avail-
You can
still obtain

When Hitler Spoke To U.S. Reporters

Interned Correspondents Describe
France, Italy Under German Yoke
-_ _ _

This historic picture shows Louis Lochner (whose sensational story
of Germany at war appears at the lift) talking with Hitler at a press
conference in 1932. In his story filed from Lisbon-after leaving Ger-
many with other diplomats and reporters there when the war broke out -
-Lochner describes the tremendously unhappy German reception of
Hitler's "greatest blunder," war on the United States.

able and furs were practically unob-,
tainable, Goebbels four days before
Christmas asked the nation to give
up pelts and other warm things and
have them shipped to the Russian
German people couldn't believe
their ears.
Only a few weeks previously a
weekly newsreel had been brought
out showing how soldiers were being
furnished with everything needed
for the winter.
That news reel even then was run-
ning in thousands of smaller houses
which received their film later than
metropolitan theatres. Clearly, some-
body somewhere was lying. Goebbels
and his newsreel didn't jibe.
In an address he blamed the win-
ter for the unusual appeal. That
again was a contradiction of some-
thing he had said in his own ministry.
Admits Scant Christmas Gifts
Admitting that Christmas gifts
vere scant and scarce this year and
the traditional candles were missing
because all available supplies had
been sent to the Russian front, Goeb-
bels suddenly warned the people not
to forsake their leaders and the fight-
ing troops as they had done in 1918.
It was decidedly poor psychology
to remind Germans of their defeat
in 1918 so soon after the declaration
of war on the United States. It was
even worse psychology to admit the
possibility of a recurrence of 1918.
From early 1942 and until our de-
parture in mid-May one depressing
fact after another was revealed to
the German people by Hitler and his
The Ukraine, according to the Ger-
man press on Feb. 25, wouldn't yield
tangible agricultural results until
1943. Before the Russian campaign
every German had been led to believe
that grain and other raw materials
would pour in from the Ukraine from
the moment of its conquest.
Promises Soviet Defeat
Speaking on the German Memorial
Day, March 16, Hitler told his people
the Russians definitely would be
beaten this summer. A month and 10
days later in an address to the Reich-

stag he promised that German trans-
portation in the East would be better
next winter than last. This was a
wet blanket for millions of Germans
and seemed to indicate Hitler expects
to face another Russian winter.
-N~he Reichstag speech was a blun-
der in another way: It revealed even
to the most obtuse how far all per-
sonal liberty had gone and how one
man abrogated not only all legislative
and executive powers but even all
judicial prerogatives to himself.
At the same time that Nazi propa-
gandists poke fun at Winston
Churchill's consistent reminders to
the British people that he has no-
thing to offe. them but "blood, sweat
and tears," Hitler, Goering, Goebbels
and their satellites are calling upon
their German co-nationals for great-
er sacrifices even than those de-
manded by the British Prime Minis-
ter of all Britons.
Call For Greater Effort
In season and out of season, Nazi
spellbinders are telling the German
nation that more economic sacrifices,
greater labor, increased exertion,
more stoppages of industries regarded
as nonessential, and the loss of more
blood, more lives, and more limbs are
in store.
This year started out with Reich-
marshal Hermann Goering's appeal
to the nation culminating in: "The
future can be mastered only by a
people which, with iron determina-
tion, is ready to make every sacrifice,j
willing to fight without fear of death
and labor with the utmost exertion.
We are ready to face the new year
even though it demand greater sac-
rifices of everyone than hitherto."
From time to time, the idea of
sacrifice gave way to an appeal for
patience if the war is longer than
expected. Thus Goebbels told Aus-
trian Nazis, "Good things need timeI
for ripening and developing. That is
true, too, of New Europe. One mustI
not assume that a world empire built'
up through three centuries topples
within three months. But one blow
after another will strike the British
Empire so long until one day it will
fall to the ground."

France - - -
(Associated Press Correspondent)
LISBON-Seventy-four bedraggled
citizens of the United States-diplo-
mats, news correspondents and their
families-arrived in Lisbon after five
months of internment in Germany.
Their four-day journey through
the Rhine Valley, France, Spain and
Portugal was supervised to the Span-
ish border by the Gestapo, but de-
spite the strictest of control there
were numerous incidents cheering to
Americans who for long months had
longed to shake the German dust
from their shoes.
Occupied France-the Marne Val-.
ley, Paris, Biarritz-was found to be
a land of deep emotional depression.
As glimpsed by homeward-bound
Americans, France was spiritually
prostrate, but there were a few .in-
cidents indicating that here and
there the spark of hope survived.
Frenchman Throws Rock
The French did not know that our
train was a diplomatic special. South
of Paris an indignant Frenchman
shied a rock through a dining car
window, scattering shattered glass
over the tables. The trainman said
the French often did such things, on
the theory that all special trains were
carrying Germans.
One lively French peasant obvious-
ly had heard about our train in some
manner: He stood in his field and
merrily waved the Stars and Stripes.
Before the train reached Paris a
bold French airman slipped aboard
past the guards and rode with us for
an hour.
In moving phrases he asked that
America help to the utmost.
"You are France's last hope," he
Police Slip Up
At Biarritz, where the travelers
remained for a day at a seaside hotel,
the German police slipped up a little.
Several of us managed to take an
unescorted walk through town.
"You can't even buy a shirt," a bar-
ber complained.
"Everything is reserved for Ger-
mans," said a girl in a shop which
used to sell silk stockings.
"All cognac has been sent to Ger-
many," wailed a barman.
Biarritz teemed with German sol-
diers. They do not have to salute
on the beach, so that sunbathing of-
ficers will not have to rise.
Along the Corso a French cat
arched her back and spat at a dog
with a German soldier.
"Even the cats get the idea,"
chuckled an idling fisherman.
At Biarritz there was a last im-
pression of war: Busses taking the
party to a train moved among Ger-
man soldiers who were slipping from
building to building, apparently
working out some problem in street
Planes roared low over the house-
tops and coast artillery fired into the
Bay of Biscay, sending up great
splashes out near the horizon.
Germans Practice War
On the beach, which in peacetime
was one of Europe's smartest fashion
promenades, German soldiers were
digging themselves into the sand.
Burning smudge pots covered the
city with a dense, evil-smelling smoke
The whole thing looked like a
practice maneuver to repel a landing.
It also looked like a show that might
have been staged for the benefit of
the departing Americans.
The French said there had been no
previous operations on such a scale
and the idea apparently was to try

m *

Eye Witnesses

Italy . . .
(Associated Press Correspondent)
LISBON.-Benito Mussolini is lead-
ing a hungry, disillusioned and apa-
thetic Italy in an unpopular war
againsti the United States.
The war's unpopularity has been
manifest in various ways to Ameri-
cans who waited five months for
repatriation after the Duce of Fasc-
ism uttered the fateful words that
placed his people at war with yet an-
other enemy last Dec. 11.
Italy's future as an ally of Ger-
many and Japan is unpredictable.
Collapse Unlikely
A collapse from a food shortage
within this year or the next seems
unlikely. Neither does an economic
breakdown seem imminent, because
of assistance being given by Ger-
many in this sphere.
Without any organized opposition
under competent leadership, the
Fascist regime probably is secure for
some time to come.
Yet the war against the United
States is unpopular and some observ-
ers see in Italy a people who dislike
their German allies and who care
nothing for the Japanese-a people
who are looked upon for potential
assistance when and if an American-
British Army lands in Europe to crush
Would Welcome Allies
In fact some say that half the
Italian people now would welcome
such an Allied invasion as a possible
means of freeing them from the
humiliating grip held by the Ger-
Not a single anti-American demon-
stration-even an officially organized
one-has been reported in Italy.
Many Italians in all walks of life
have sought on occasion to tell
Americans of their personal friend-
We are regarded as only nominal
or friendly enemies. Few are the
Italian families that do not know
some relative or friend who has found
opportunity and a better way of life
in the United States.
Respects To Roosevelt
Shortly before I left Rome an
Italian of only casual acquaintance,
knowing I was about to leave, em-
braced me with Latin effusiveness
and said:
"Give my respects to Mr. Roose-
And, mind you, this incident oc-
curred despite the presence of a near-
by guard.
The incident was rare, but the
sentiment was not.

Hitler Orders
Big Increase
In Agriculture
Nazi Farmers Far. Behind
In 1942 Food Schedule
After Grueling Winter
(Associated Press Correspondent)
LISBON, May 18.-German farm-
ers, who are at least three weeks be-
hind schedule on their 1942 crops,
have been ordered to increase the
production of vegetables, vegetable
fats and potatoes. At the same time,
Reichmarshal Hermann Goering told
growers that the 1941 acreages in
grain and sugar beets must be main-
Unfavorable weather, insufficient
fertilizer, the shortage of manpower
and horsepower, and tardiness in the
delivery of seeds are obstacles delay-
ing this program.
Goering - called last winter the
"longest, worst and most stubborn in
more than a hundred years" and ac-
knowledged that spring farm work
was "later than usual."
In addition to the extreme tem-
peratures and late thaw, fertilizer
deliveries were delayed during the
winter because transportation facili-
ties were tied up with war traffic.
German farm experts said that the
phosphorous fertilizer available was
only 33 per cent of the amount used
in 1933 and that nitrogen supplies
were only 76 per cent of the amount
distributed in 1938-1939.
The most serious difficulty, how-
ever, appears to be the shortage of
labor and German sources estimated
that at least 600,000 laborers were
needed. Already 1,000,000 of the
2,100,000 foreign workers in Germany
are employed on farms and in for-
estry projects. In addition, 800,000
prisoners of war are used in agri-
Farm labor is not at its full effi-
ciency because, according to German
figures, 53 per cent of the workers in
farming and forestry are women,
many of whom work in the fields
only part time.
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Ti:ese two veteran war corres-
rondents were interned when the
Axis Powers declared war. Arriv-
ing at Libon en route home they
tell amazing stories of what's hap-
pening on the inside of the Axis.
Masseck describes a war-weary
Italian people in vivid detail while
Steinkopf writes of "spiritually
prostrate" Franee through which
he journeyed.
to scare us with a demonstration of
German military power.
All contacts with the French were
fleeting and furtive or casual. Citi-
zens obviously were suspicious of
strangers, but the impression was
that France was thoroughly unhappy,
yet could do little against the Nazi
domination. Some Frenchmen said,
however, that opposition still was
keenly alive around St. Nazaire,
where fighting continued -bitterly for
some days after a recent British com-
mando landing.
At Hendaye the party changed
from the cramped German train to
wide-gauge Spanish cars. The Ges-
tapo uniforms diappeared, the black-
out was lifted, and meals trebled in
size and quality.
- -- ---

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